Lifespan Nutrition

Bill Sardi Health Blog

  • Hair growth with lavender

    I don’t know a guy who wouldn’t apply something to his bald spot if it worked.  It makes sense to apply something topically rather than take something orally.  So recently researchers applied minoxidil, the primary ingredient in Rogaine, or lavender oil on skin areas of laboratory mice.  New hair follicles, thicker skin, and deeper hair follicle depth were predictably demonstrated with minoxidil.  Surprisingly lavender oil had a hair growth-promoting effect.  Researchers suggest lavender oil could be a practical application to promote hair growth. [Toxicological Research April 2016]

  • Vitamin K belatedly proposed for bone health (decades late)

    How come the research community launches out to prove something that is already widely known?

    A recent news headline reads: “Cheesy vitamin boosts bones; could mean an end for osteoporosis.”  The article went on to say a trial has been launched with vitamin K supplements to see if it slows or even reverses progressive bone loss in post-menopausal females.  Vitamin K, known as a blood-clotting nutrient, is also an anti-calcifying agent.  –[Daily Mail UK June 25, 2016]

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  • Modern version: apple a day keeps the doctor away

    Now there is a lot of talk about gut bacteria these days and it is quite valid.  The four pounds of bacteria in our gut (intestines) is the locus of inflammation in our body.  Low-grade inflammation is the hallmark characteristic of aging.  In one remarkable study, researchers provided a molecule found in grapes to the diet of animals and via favorable alteration of gut bacteria, atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries of lab animals remarkably vanished! []

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  • Got stem cells?

    Stem cells are those raw undefined cells that can morph into a new heart, brain, muscle cell.  There is a pool of stem cells throughout your body that is made endogenously.  Stem cells are critical for cellular repair.  There is a horde of dietary supplements sold online that purport to stimulate stem cell production.  Most of the stem cell-inducing dietary supplements being sold offer beneficial ingredients.  A common one is astragalus, an herb that has been shown to promote stem cells in rodents.  [Journal of Orthopedics & Traumatology 2011]

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  • Did anybody notice?

    The problem with heart attacks, in particular silent heart attacks (no chest pain or other symptoms) is that damaged heart muscle once scarred takes a long time to heal. Whereas cells such as those in the skin are replaced every few weeks, the heart muscle cells you were born with are still pumping blood in your adult years.  Once you damage these cells, they are not quick to be replaced.  Scarring (fibrosis) is likely a problem that prevails for the remainder of life after a heart attack.  So it is critically important to protect heart muscle cells should a heart attack (a blockage of circulation to the heart) occur.   Actually, the damage done to heart muscle occurs when the blockage of a coronary artery is opened and oxygen is supplied.  At this moment, oxygen radicals are created that damage heart muscle.

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  • Oops, it wasn’t cancer after all.

    GreenMedInfo did a good job of covering a panel report by the National Cancer Institute that revealed millions of Americans were wrongly diagnosed with cancer (that report was issued in 2012).  GreenMedInfo estimates 1.3 million women were treated for breast cancer over the past 30 years who never had cancer.  Visit GreenMedInfo.

  • In an attempt to prevent birth defects, did we accidentally induce autism?

    This is an awful development.  Did efforts to reduce birth defects (spina bifida, anencephaly) by provision of mega-dose folic acid to women prior to and during pregnancy induce the autism epidemic?  Mothers with very high folate levels at delivery are twice as likely to have a child with autism.  High vitamin B12 levels tripled the risk.  Mothers with excess folate and B12 were 17 times more likely to have an autistic child!  [Medscape May 11, 2016]  Health authorities had to quickly respond and advise fertile women not to back away from folic acid supplements altogether and trade one disease for another.  So they immediately issued advice for fertile women to stick with taking 400-800 mcg of folic acid (not 5000 mcg). [TIME Magazine May 12, 2016]  After a child is deemed to be autistic, folic acid supplements appear to be beneficial for autistic children. [Nutrients June 7, 2016]

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  • HDL “good” cholesterol not so good

    The advice has been to raise levels of HLD cholesterol (high density lipoproteins) which has been considered “reverse cholesterol” that returns cholesterol from arteries to the liver where it was first made.  But newly published science shows more “good” cholesterol is not always better.  [BBC News 2016]  A rise in HDL cholesterol may increase risk for coronary artery heart disease. [Science March 2016]  You are still going to be looking at lab reports that suggest higher HDL levels are beneficial.  It takes a long time to change things.

  • World saved by pineapples?

    The world is rushing to a cataclysmic event.  No not a meteor that comes crashing into the ocean to create a tsunami that overwhelms coastal areas where most humans live.  No, to a threat from atomic bombs.  It’s the war against microbes that are increasing become resistant to antibiotic drugs.  The so-called super bugs are killing millions of people a year now while doctors stand by helplessly watching their patients succumb to common infections.  While a roadmap to introduce new antibiotics has been published [PEW Charitable Trusts], out of the blue a plant enzyme has emerged as a potential player in the war against germ resistance.  Bromelain, the enzyme complex in pineapples, was recently found to halt diarrhea in piglets caused by superbugs.  [Daily Mail UK June 24, 2016]

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  • Are all the weapons against cancer being employed?

    Answer:  well, not if they are natural molecules that don’t generate billions of dollars of revenues.

    Inflammation is known as the fuel that feeds cancer.  NF-kappa B is a protein complex in the body associated with inflammation.   NF-kappa B has long been considered the “holy grail” as a target for new anti-inflammatory drugs.  NF-kappa B controls more than 500 genes.  NF kappa B is activated in cases of asthma, arthritis, atherosclerosis, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, obesity, heart disease, allergies, to name a few. [Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives Biology 2009]
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